Not all hope is lost, though: we can each still be working toward a more natural, sustainable lifestyle every day. Instantly jumping to carbon neutral may be impossible, but working toward that goal is something we can start right now.
So let’s visit the laundry room.
It is in there that you’re going through hundreds of gallons of water, tons of electricity, waste and plastic, and time. Laundry is awfully demanding. Despite that, if you’re looking to green this practice and save a few dollars, check out these four simple tips:
Number 1. Wash in ColdFirst up, wash your clothes in cold! Many people are concerned about the efficacy of washing when it’s in cold but rest assured, washing your clothes in cold is just as effective as washing your clothes in warm water. Unless you are trying to get out grease, heavy oil, or tough stains, then there should be no problem (and you should probably work on those individually anyways!).
On top of working just as well, washing in cold is also great from the environment. Check this out: washing in cold water for a year equals the same carbon emissions as 164 miles of driving while washing in hot can emit as much as 3595 miles of driving, depending on your rig. That’s a notable difference.
Finally, washing in cold means less energy used. This means an electric bill with fewer dollar signs. Good for the planet, good for you – good idea.
Number 2. Wash when FullNext up, be sure to wash when you have a full load. This should, by all means, go without saying – why waste resources? Washing when full means washing less often, reducing time spent on loads, and means more efficient use of detergents and cleaners. Fill up those washers and save those dollars!
Number 3. Wash with Health in MindWhile we’re on the subject of cleaners, be sure to choose the right ones! Being green doesn’t just mean you need to efficiently use your resources like water and electricity. It also means you need to be mindful of what you’re putting back into the environment. Unfortunately, many of the detergents and cleaners on the shelves might not have what Mother Earth deems “healthy.”
Bottom line: keep your eyes peeled for surfactant nonylphenol ethoxylate (also known as NPE), phosphates, and harsh bleaches. Instead, go for brands that use natural alternatives, no dyes or fragrances, and nothing harsh for your skin.